British medieval records award special status by UNESCO

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Twenty items have been selected from the UK’s libraries, archives and museums to represent the outstanding heritage of the United Kingdom, including several that date back to the Middle Ages. They new items listed in the UK Memory of the World Register include the Cura Pastoralis of Gregory, the Gough Map, Wakefield Court Rolls, Winchester Pipe Rolls and records of The Great Hospital in Norwich.

The international-level register, which features items of global significance, includes items from the UK such as 1215 Magna Carta, the Mappa Mundi and the film The Battle of the Somme. The UK Memory of the World programme is part of UNESCO’s work to promote preservation of and access to the world’s archive holdings and library collections. The UK Register is available at

“We were incredibly impressed by the diversity and richness of these nominations to the register,” said David Dawson, Chair of the UK Memory of the World Committee. “These are some of the UK’s exceptional, but lesser-known documentary riches. By awarding them with the globally recognised UNESCO Memory of the World status we hope to elevate them to the world stage.”

The winners were chosen by the expert committee of the UK Memory of the World programme, following a nomination and review process.

The archive of St Giles’s Hospital (known as ‘The Great Hospital’), founded in c. 1249, is said to have ‘no rival anywhere in the country’ and is labelled as the ‘fullest and by far the most important set of British medieval hospital records to survive the English Reformation’....

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